Windation Promises Bird-Free Rooftop Wind Energy

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Windation Energy Systems has developed an urban-wind rooftop turbine designed for commercial and industrial buildings. Billed as “permit-ready” and “bird safe,” Windation’s 5 kW turbine resembles a commercial AC unit and leverages a proprietary vacuum system to purportedly amplify wind speed and boost energy output.  The company’s first installation is expected this quarter in Palo Alto, CA.

CleanTechies aimed four questions at CEO and founder Mark Sheikhrezai.

CleanTechies: Your statement on the Palo Alto project says it’s “permit-ready” and “bird-safe.”  What makes it so?

Mark Sheikhrezai: Windation develops “ducted wind systems,” enclosed machines that resemble a commercial air conditioning unit.  Each Windation unit measures 9x9x10 feet and weighs roughly 2,200 lbs, less than half an HVAC system.  This conventional size, shape, and weight enable Windation’s wind systems to meet established permitting and siting codes for rooftop appliances and uses the same method of installation.

By internally housing the rotating blades and generator, the threat to birds and other wildlife is eliminated.  In fact a number of safety, maintenance and other advantages result form the enclosed design, including minimizing noise, vibration, and aesthetics concerns.

CleanTechies: How will this be used at most businesses?

Mark Sheikhrezai: Windation’s Turbo WindMill 5000 can produce 10,000 kWh per year in average wind speeds of 7.2 m/s.  The energy generated will feed directly into the building’s electrical system and reduce the amount of energy consumed from the utility grid. If higher generation capacities are desired, multiple Turbo WindMills can be installed on individual buildings; only 30ft of open space is required.

CleanTechies: Tell us about the proprietary vacuum system. How does it work

Mark Sheikhrezai: Wind in city environments is more variable and turbulent than in rural settings, therefore an urban wind system must be equipped to handle incoming wind from all directions.  The technology behind Windation’s urban wind system was inspired by Persian wind-catcher buildings. The system captures and funnels turbulent wind in a smooth, counterclockwise stream.   A vortex is created beneath the internal turbine enabling a vacuum effect, pulling more wind into the frame and amplifying input loads.

Energy available in the wind is proportional to the cube of its speed. A basic principle that applies to all wind turbines is the faster the wind stream, the more energy will be generated.  While the cut-in speed for Windation’s unit is 2.7 m/s, the system is most effective operating within the range of 4.5 to 9 m/s.

CleanTechies: Is there an energy storage component to this? What kind of battery if there is?

Mark Sheikhrezai: The unit is tied to the utility grid.  Any additional energy generated that is not consumed on-site is fed to the grid.

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6 Comments

  1. Mark: i am the managing director of the hudson valley center for innovation, a technology accelerator, located in downstate new york (near Manhattan). last year we launched the WindPower Initiative which is designed to test, certify, help commercialize light and urban wind turbines specifically here in the northeast. i am interested in your turbine design and would like to speak with you about commercializing your technology here in the east. you can call me directly at 914-645-1919. thanks.

  2. Pingback: Windation Wind Turbine Tries To Keep Birds From Being Airkill | EarthTechling

  3. The claims made here do not prove out. In a quick analysis at my blog, I thought that, on an energetic basis they do even if economically they do not. A reader pointed out an (embarrassing) error in my analysis and, upon correcting, the energetics are also implausible. I updated my blog post to show the corrected information.

    If Mr. Sheikhrezai would like to show where the updated version is off track, I’d welcome his comments either at my blog or here.

  4. I wasted a month of my life on a consulting project for Windation in 2007. The commenters who point out the poor performance of small rooftop wind energy systems are correct. Read what Paul Gipe and other qualified professionals have to say before listening to urban wind promoters.

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